Coach CornerServe and ReceiveShort heavy topspin serve
Danttgeek asked 2 months ago

2 Answers
Danttgeek answered 2 months ago

Hi Guys
I am struggling with receiving short/half-long heavy topsin/sidespin serves.
I find that these are hard to control – so when I return them, my opponent will often aggressively attack these putting me on the backfoot or even ending the point.
If I try to be more aggressive flicking these, the ball tends to go off.  Pushing/chopping isn’t really working either.
What should I do?  Punch them?  They seem to low and too far in front of me for that.
THanks for your help.

TomTom Academy Coach answered 2 months ago

Hey Dan,

Yeah these can be a tricky one to get comfortable with to be fair. I’d say yes it’s very hard to short touch or push these serves back, the way forward will be working on the flicks to return these shots.

So the main thing is to actually get close to the ball by stepping in under the table and getting your head and body close to the ball when you contact it. Also learning to roll your bat over the top of the ball when flicking, many players tend to hit hard and flat when they flick and this can be high risk and cause the ball to fly off the end of into the net.

It’s really good to spend time working on this in training when you aren’t under the pressure of a match situation, so getting someone to just serve these type of serves to you and practicing the flick over and over.

Another thing that can be effective is actually trying to touch the ball short, now this is more advanced but sometimes it can be easier for people. To do this well, you really need to come slightly around the side of the ball against the sidespin and take the ball early off the bounce. Again spending time out of a match situation really focusing on this will really help.

If you get a chance maybe send us in a short clip of you returning these serves as well, that way I can give you feedback and help a bit more specific to you.

Tom 🙂

replied 2 months ago

Thank you very much Tom – really appreciate your answer. 🙏

I suspect that I am reaching a little and not coming enough over the top of the ball enough and too much on the side. Yes practicing is the way to go, not many people do this serve well so I struggle to find someone to practice with. (I noticed some folk hold back on their serves during practice – that competitive spirit is a bit overzealous – hehe)

Really interesting about the short-touch – that sounds very doable – will try these things. 👍

Academy Coach replied 2 months ago

No problem at all, that’s why we’re here 🙂 Let us know how you get on!

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